Archive for November, 2015

26th November
2015
written by Todd Cheatham

 

Roll Tide everybody!!!

As I sit here in T-town writing this week’s weekly blog I am basking in the 70+ weather and dreading my flight back to Chiberia tomorrow.  When I left Chicago last Friday we were experiencing our first snow storm (such as it was).  The airport had to de-ice the airplane.  As always, I have enjoyed my time in T-town and regret leaving.  It’s a pleasure seeing my old friends, eating at local favs, traveling around T-town and visiting family.

I had the chance to watch the last home game of the season.  The vive was still there.  People were walking around, tailgating, and soaking in that end of season feeling which will not been felt till another home game next September.

There is another reason for my excitement.  I attended the Nick Saban’s “Hey Coach” radio show yesterday.  I had the opportunity to meet the man (as brief as it was) and get an autograph.  I have never been that close to “the man” himself.  It’s was awesome feeling.

It’s time for the Iron Bowl.  #2 Alabama will be playing against Auburn.  The game is scheduled for 2:30 PM CT on CBS.  Please join us this Saturday, 11/28/2015, at The Houndstooth or Another Round.

If you’re planning on watching the game in the Chicagoland area, please join us at either of our two locations. Our city bar, The Houndstooth, is located at 3369 N Clark St. Our suburban location, Another Round, is located at 5141 Main Street in Downer’s Grove. The Houndstooth’s web site is www.houndstoothsaloon.com. Another Round’s web site is www.anotherroundbarandgrill.com.

There are no reservations at The Houndstooth.  It is based on a “first come, first serve”.  Given the attendance at the last Iron Bowl, and if you want a seat, you should plan on arriving 2 hours before kickoff.  If not, it will be standing room only.  During the last SEC match off this year, a line out the door formed 30 minutes prior to kickoff.  Arrive early!  The alumni association will be there to greet you.  As soon as you enter, turn to your immediate right and we’ll be there to greet you as you enter. So, come on down and watch the Tide play at home against the Tigers.

Another Round will be opened and ready to great all the wonderful, local AL fans. We have a private area to the far left as you enter the bar.  I suggest arriving an hour plus before the game starts. Please wear your crimson and white to cheer on the Tide.

As our 2015-2016 season is coming to an end, don’t forget to buy your t-shirt before the season is over.  In addition, Roll Tide Chicago is celebrating its 10th anniversary.  Our brand new shirt is designed to commemorate this special occasion. Stop by the membership desk and purchase yours.  Our memberships are as follows:

White level (single) – $25 and includes one shirt

Crimson level (duel) – $40 and includes two shirts

Houndstooth level (family) – $60 and includes four shirts

Single shirt purchase (non member) – $30 each

Additional shirt purchase (member) – $20

Also, in honor of our 10th anniversary, we are offering a pre-order polo design shirt. These shirts are of a higher quality and display our 10th anniversary commemorative logo, and they come in a wide variety of colors. The price for these one of a kind polo shirts is $40.

We accept cash, checks or credit cards. We have all sizes in men’s and women’s from small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large (the polo’s can be ordered in an XXXL size). Anyone of our board members can assist you. Please do not hesitate to ask.

If you need to reach us or have any questions prior to the game, please visit our web site at www.rolltidechicago.com or send us an email at rolltidechicago@gmail.com.

Matt, Laurel, Bobby and me will be available at The Tooth to answer any questions you may have.  Jack, Cathy, Bob, Spencer and all the AL fans will be there to greet you at Another Round.  Please stop by and give us a hearty “ROLL TIDE”!

Todd Cheatham

President

 

4th and Goal

By Marc Brafman

It’s finally here! The week most of us have waited for all year long. The Iron Bowl once again is upon us, and if you’ve watched the Iron Bowl hype video making the rounds, you know the late great Shug Jordan had a great quote about it: “We play in a bowl game every year…it’s called the Iron Bowl”!  Well, while this year might not be as big as in years past don’t for one second think this game doesn’t still have a TON riding on it for both schools. For Bama it’s obvious: an SEC west title, a trip back to Atlanta for the SEC title game, and of course, a spot in the Final Four. For Auburn, it would be their chance to ruin our season and salvage theirs. I have read it would be the biggest upset in Iron Bowl history and after watching both teams play how can you say that’s wrong? I’m sure Saban has the boys primed and ready to go, and as long as we play our game I don’t think this Iron Bowl will be that close. But in a game like this you never EVER know. I look forward to watching Derek Henry do his thing and our defense continue to improve each week. And we should have state bragging rights once again.

 

If you were like me and watching the Florida game last week, a couple things went through my mind: 1. We better hope Florida wins, 2. How is it possible they are 9-1 and 3. How bad is the SEC East? Well here is the answer: The SEC East lost to the Citadel and had two games go into OT. Sorry folks; but the SEC is not even close to being the best in league this year.

 

On the flip side with OSU implosion, both on the field and after the game, we need to take a step back and realize how special a run we are on. Let’s assume we win the next two games. Take a look at this stat: With the win on Saturday Bama has won 10 games (or more) for the 8th straight year. Since 1937 only two other teams have won more than 10 wins in a row: The amazing Bobby Bowden 14 year run with FSU from 1987-2000 and Texas from 2001-2009. Remember after the Ole Miss loss everyone started stating the Saban era was over? Blah, blah, blah… If the Tide wins out, they will be the ONLY team to get into the CFP final four for both years.

 

Now we move onto Ohio State. What I took away from their loss, besides the questionable play calling, was how this team never seemed to have the “it” factor. I have told my OSU friends from the day one the only reason they won’t win the title this year is because “It is darn hard to repeat with all the distractions and NFL people buzzing around”. Well, we saw this first hand after the last week’s game. Imagine for a second after the loss to OSU last year if Derek Henry or Yeldon had said to a reporter “Man, I’m not sure why Simms tossed that pass? We should have run more with the ball. What the hell was Kiffin and Saban thinking?” Of course we were all thinking it and to this day it the dumbest play call of the Saban era; but, no one said it. Leave it to the Finebalms or the Herbie’s of the world to discuss it but leave it in house. I predict not only will OSU lose to Michigan on Saturday but they won’t be a factor in the national title race next year either. As to the great Urban, he has let too much slide by the wayside. His time on top of the Big Ten will be brief. Just you watch.

 

In other news I for one can’t figure out what the hell the people in Baton Rouge are thinking if they really fire Les Miles. It was just three weeks ago they had the #2 team in the country. Unless they can get the coach of Clemson who else are they going to find better than Les? If he does indeed get fired, add another head to the Saban coaching firing wall: Fat Phil, Dooley, Tubberville, Ol’ Geno, and the list grows larger by the year.

 

The Big 12 has been fun to watch this year. I am one for pulling for Oklahoma State on Saturday to beat the Sooners just so they can be left out of the Final Four…again.

 

In honor of the Iron Bowl a song by a band I could never figure out why people liked them but this album was sure big on New Rock 90.7 when I was a DJ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtZKBWiVPbI

 

…and just one more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJjrIaUr_1s

 

Have a Great Thanksgiving and RTR

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18th November
2015
written by Todd Cheatham

Roll Tide everybody!!!

It’s time for Game 11 and its back home we go for last home game.  #2 Alabama will be playing against Charleston Southern.  The game is scheduled for 3:00 PM CT on CBS.  We will be meeting this Saturday, 11/21/2015, at The Houndstooth and Another Round.

If you’re planning on watching the game in the Chicagoland area, please join us at either of our two locations. Our city bar, The Houndstooth, is located at 3369 N Clark St. Our suburban location, Another Round, is located at 5141 Main Street in Downer’s Grove. The Houndstooth’s web site is www.houndstoothsaloon.com. Another Round’s web site is www.anotherroundbarandgrill.com.

There are no reservations at The Houndstooth is based on a “first come, first serve”. The alumni association will be there to greet you. As soon as you enter, turn to your immediate right and we’ll be there to greet you as you enter. So, come on down and watch the Tide play at home against the Tigers.

Another Round will be opened and ready to great all the wonderful, local AL fans. We have a private area to the far left as you enter the bar.  I suggest arriving an hour before the game starts. Please wear your crimson and white to cheer on the Tide.

Our 2015-2016 season is coming to an end.  Don’t forget to buy your t-shirt before the season is over.  In addition, Roll Tide Chicago is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Our brand new shirt is designed to commemorate this special occasion. Stop by the membership desk and purchase yours.  Our memberships are as follows:

White level (single) – $25 and includes one shirt

Crimson level (duel) – $40 and includes two shirts

Houndstooth level (family) – $60 and includes four shirts

Single shirt purchase (non member) – $30 each

Additional shirt purchase (member) – $20

Also, in honor of our 10th anniversary, we are offering a pre-order polo design shirt. These shirts are of a higher quality and display our 10th anniversary commemorative logo, and they come in a wide variety of colors. The price for these one of a kind polo shirts is $40.

We accept cash, checks or credit cards. We have all sizes in men’s and women’s from small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large (the polo’s can be ordered in an XXXL size). Anyone of our board members can assist you. Please do not hesitate to ask.

If you need to reach us or have any questions prior to the game, please visit our web site at www.rolltidechicago.com or send us an email at rolltidechicago@gmail.com.

Matt, Laurel, Bobby and Linda will be available at The Tooth to answer any questions you may have.  Jack, Cathy, Bob, Spencer and all the fans will be there to greet you at Another Round.  Please stop by and give us a hearty “ROLL TIDE”!

Todd Cheatham

President

 

4th and Goal

By Marc Brafman

I believe it was Neil Diamond, or maybe it was the Monkey’s, but no matter who it was, count me as a “Believer” on our defense. A week after laying the boom to LSU it’s possible they played even better against a dangerous QB in Dak Prescott and the Miss. State offense. 9 sacks or 10 sacks, who can keep track? The one knock on the Smart / Saban defense over the last few years has been the pass rush but over the last couple of games it has taken care of itself. As the Tide gears towards a 2nd straight SEC title birth and maybe a shot at OSU again something does bug me a little. Is our defense this good or is the SEC just not very good anymore? I know, I know, fire and brimstone are going to fall on my head but take a look around the conference for a second. Who out there really scares other conference teams these days besides us? Florida? Their offense is worse than ours. LSU seems to have fallen back. Auburn, Ole Miss, UGA? Danny Kanell on ESPN (an admitted SEC hater) is having a field day this year, and for once, I agree. Do I think the Tide is just as good as Clemson or the two Oklahoma teams? Of course I do but this year’s SEC is down and there is no getting around that. Also, we need to count our blessings ND lost to Clemson early in the year and the Big 12 has a round robin format in league play because our loss to Ole Miss looks worse by the week.

 

A couple of more observations from Saturday: Why is Kenyon Drake on the kickoff team? If we had our normal stable of running backs I would have no problem with it, but we don’t, so I didn’t see the point in risking injury. That poor guy can’t catch a break.

 

Is it possible Derek Henry is the best running back of the Saban era? I think over the next three weeks we’ll find out the answer is yes.

 

If you were a high level recruit and wanted to be on TV why would you not come to Alabama? The Iron Bowl will be the 5th time this year Bama is on CBS and the following week they will be on again for the SEC championship. I sure hope all those great recruits from Ole Miss, UGA, LSU, etc. enjoy being on ESPN at 7:00 PM

 

While Bama, Clemson and the Big 12 schools worry about winning National Titles, OSU worries about the police blotter and this important law suit: ohio-state-sues-horseshoe-casino/75915358/.

 

While Bama is off playing “little sister of the poor” this week, what a great weekend of college football coming up: Oklahoma St. – Baylor, Okl – TCU, Michigan State – OSU, Ole Miss – LSU (Pull for LSU in this one guys. If they win, we win the West) and even ND – Boston College. Whoever said the playoff was a bad idea needs to watch this weekend and see how many teams fall by the way side.

 

Avery Johnson is going to turn the Tide around, but man, they have a long way to go. They got blasted by Dayton yesterday by around 400 points. Keep the faith Tide basketball fans. It’s going to be a long, LONG season.

 

One of the side effects of Drake getting hurt is at least in the Iron Bowl and at the SEC championship game we are going to be running Henry more and more. Let’s hope by the time the final four rolls around he doesn’t feel like my man Jackson Browne (or Forrest Gump): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC-pkV1s0Zc

 

Who needs the Whip and the Ney-Ney when you can do the Charleston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUpAcPAipDA

 

RTR let’s pray for no more injuries!

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12th November
2015
written by Todd Cheatham

Roll Tide everybody!!!

After watching the CFP rankings this past Tuesday, I was not surprised AL moved into the second place position. Some friends mentioned we should have jumped into first place but there is always a problem being #1…everyone is out to get you.  I’m fine with being in second place (for now).

Again, I am constantly surprised OH ST stayed within the top four. Is it simply because they are the current ranked champions?  How many ranked teams has AL played?  How many ranked teams has OH ST played?  To date, we have played and won against four ranked teams: WI, GA, TX A&M and LSU (not to dismiss our loss against ranked Ole MS and our upcoming game against #17 MS ST).  And in most of these games the opposing teams were ranked higher than AL.  And again OH ST remains in the top four.  There can be no doubt to Clemson’s claim but OH ST?  I hope their game against Hawaii was a tough one!

Lastly, don’t discount MI ST. They have an annoying talent of causing an upset when you least expect it.  If we become too comfortable or too complacent any team will take the advantage.  We need to continue to play against MI ST with same accuracy and precision as we played against LSU.  As the old saying goes, “it ain’t over till it’s over”.

It’s time for Game 10 and it is our first away game since Texas A&M on 10/17. #2 Alabama will be playing against #17 MI ST.  The game is scheduled for 2:30 PM CT on CBS.  We will be meeting this Saturday, 11/14/2015, at The Houndstooth and Another Round.

If you’re planning on watching the game in the Chicagoland area, please join us at either of our two locations. Our city bar, The Houndstooth, is located at 3369 N Clark St. Our suburban location, Another Round, is located at 5141 Main Street in Downer’s Grove. The Houndstooth’s web site is www.houndstoothsaloon.com. Another Round’s web site is www.anotherroundbarandgrill.com.

There are no reservations at The Houndstooth is based on a “first come, first serve”. The alumni association will be there to greet you. As soon as you enter, turn to your immediate right and we’ll be there to greet you as you enter. So, come on down and watch the Tide play at home against the Tigers.

Another Round will be opened and ready to great all the wonderful, local AL fans. We have a private area to the far left as you enter the bar. I suggest arriving an hour before the game starts. Please wear your crimson and white to cheer on the Tide.

We’re still selling our 2015 memberships. In addition, Roll Tide Chicago is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Our brand new shirt is designed to commemorate this special occasion. Stop by the membership desk and purchase yours.  Our memberships are as follows:

White level (single) – $25 and includes one shirt

Crimson level (duel) – $40 and includes two shirts

Houndstooth level (family) – $60 and includes four shirts

Single shirt purchase (non member) – $30 each

Additional shirt purchase (member) – $20

Also, in honor of our 10th anniversary, we are offering a pre-order polo design shirt. These shirts are of a higher quality and display our 10th anniversary commemorative logo, and they come in a wide variety of colors. The price for these one of a kind polo shirts is $40.

We accept cash, checks or credit cards. We have all sizes in men’s and women’s from small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large (the polo’s can be ordered in an XXXL size). Anyone of our board members can assist you. Please do not hesitate to ask.

If you need to reach us or have any questions prior to the game, please visit our web site at www.rolltidechicago.com or send us an email at rolltidechicago@gamil.com.

Matt, Laurel, and Lisa will be available at The Tooth to answer any questions you may have. I will be making my annual trip to Downer’s Grove to visit Jack, Cathy, Spencer and all the fans at Another Round.  Please stop by and give us a hearty “ROLL TIDE”!

Todd Cheatham

President

 

4th and Goal

By Marc Brafman

Do you remember, oh about 7 weeks ago, when everyone and their sister were talking about the end of the Alabama dynasty? And the game seemed to have past Nick Saban by? What I found interesting is that ESPN just did a 30 for 30 on USC when Pete Carroll was the coach with Carson Palmer, and Reggie Bush, etc. Sure they won something like 20+ games in a row and two national titles before losing to Texas in the best college game of our lifetime. But what struck me is as great as they were the USC ‘dynasty” lasted about 4 years more or less. We are now in year 9 of the Nick Saban era and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Not after what we all witnessed last Saturday. For my money, and I include the BCS championship game vs. LSU, the game this past Saturday was the single best defensive effort ever put forth by a Saban / Smart defense. I thought going in Fournette would be hard to hold and our main job would be to shut down the rest of the LSU offense. To me the play of the game came very early in the game. Fournette took the snap and got bottled up by Dillon Lee, but, broke to the outside where Eddie Jackson was able to wrap him up for little or no gain. I am pretty sure this was the only time all season he was stopped one on one by a DB who just did his job. From that point forward I knew we had them.

 

And with all this talk (Cubs fans) of Back to the Future, how nice was it to see smash mouth Alabama football win the day? I had to listen to the last drive of the game and hear Eli Gold basically laugh at LSU when they couldn’t stop Henry. It was refreshing to hear our offense maybe find its true identity. It takes more than half the season for our coaches to wake up and see what the rest of us could see pretty much from day one. Run the ball, pass off the run and keep Coker from making any big mistakes. Do I still think Coker holds the ball too long when getting pressured, and does he need to learn to slide? At least he isn’t trying to be Blake Simms. Let’s hope we can continue the momentum this week vs. a very tough Miss. State team. The type of QB that normally gives us a fit is Dak Prescott.

 

As I was watching the game on Saturday night for some reason this song kept popping into my head while watching Henry run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgo3KVk8wvU (plus these guys should get into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame but that is another story).

 

We better enjoy watching the current coaching staff, because next year, my guess is at least two of them are going to be gone. While it is sad to think Coach Smart is one of these two but I welcome this. Because when Saban does retire don’t we want a coach with some experience? Or do we want Gene Czick?

 

Last word on if Alabama has to slip a little: They took college football’s No. 2 team to the woodshed. They dismantled the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and turned Superman into Clark Kent. They heard the critics after losing to Ole Miss and have been on warpath ever since winning by an average of more than 18 points against opponents with a combined winning percentage of 65.2 percent.

 

A couple of notes regarding other college football teams: Baylor has yet to play a team with a winning record; but, before you get too upset about their current ranking, they will be playing three tough back to back games: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU. On paper this is as tough a three game stretch as any team has played this year.

 

I think we should let Ole Miss beat us every year just so we can all enjoy how they implode after our game. How do you give up a 4th and 25 first down no matter how crazy the play?

 

Speaking of crazy plays, the end of the Michigan State and Nebraska game will rank up there. Nothing beat the Duke / Miami game ending as the worse one thus far as the ref.’s blowing it but this is a close second. I’m not sure how the rest of the country could miss the guy being pushed out but the ref. sure didn’t see it. To have the ref.’s decided two games that have major implications for all four schools involved is just pathetic.

 

It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you fall on when it comes to the Mizzu football team and their protest. To me it’s refreshing college athletes are taking a stand on anything other than what beer to drink or what show to watch on TV. I was watching a movie on Kareem Abdul Jabbar on HBO the other night. He stood next to Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and some of the other black athletes of the day to protest Jim Brown’s treatment of being stripped of the heavy weight title. When the last time a college athlete did that? We are so conditioned to Tiger Woods, MJ and Derek Jeter not being political at all it is a nice to step back and take notice when athletes tried to make a difference.

 

Your AAC update of the week: I heard this on Mike and Mike yesterday. Since Navy beat Memphis this Saturday, and if they run the table, the final college football rankings will be delayed a week until after the Army / Navy game since Navy could get into one of the CFP bowl games. I don’t think that would matter to the Tide if they win but I found it interesting.

 

We’ll end today with a classic Beatles song that fits the week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxqzMYjjkW8

 

Roll Tide!

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